Recession-proof your artistic income

Who wouldn’t love to not just eek out a living, but really thrive as an artist, even in a down economy? One of the best ways to do that is by creating multiple streams of income from your work. Laura Bray of Katydid Designs is offering an online course to help you do just that. Here’s what she’s covering (as she describes it):

In this course, you will:

* Learn that creating multiple streams of income is the fastest way to reach your financial goals while making a living a doing what you love.

* Learn how to leverage your artwork and projects to make money for you over and over.

* Learn how to create passive income. You can be independently employed, go on vacation, and still make money!

* Find out the many ways an artist or crafter can make money from their art. You probably haven’t even thought of some of them!

* Learn from experts in creative income areas such as; online selling, art licensing, children’s book illustration and craft shows.

Keep focused, do what you love and learn a ton of different possibilities for creating a good living from your talent without working yourself into an early grave. All this for only $50? Amazing! See more info about this class here. Hurry and sign up, class begins September 7.

In art, bigger really is better

These days in the art community there is a wonderful movement that strives to get back to handcrafted, placing a premium on pieces that are brimming with the artist’s personality. I agree, I much prefer the one-of-a-kind over the mass produced. I prefer smaller pieces that are well done over larger pieces that lack detail. That said, there are some things about your art that are better bigger.

Bigger Dreams. Goal setting is important, but don’t forget your dreams in the day to day. When you are afraid, reach even higher.
Bigger Quality. How can you improve on your quality?
Bigger Knowledge. Take a class. Call a mentor. Read a book. Get into the studio and experiment. It is amazing how learning will spark the creative juices. Learn something new already!
Bigger Reputation. What do you want people to say when your name is mentioned? Make every effort to keep your word, ship on time and offer value every chance you can get.
Bigger Body of Work. Keep on growing. Keep on reaching. Keep on working.The most successful artists are the ones who are faithful to work work work.
Bigger Circle of Friends. Get out there and make sincere connections. Not just for your career but for your sanity. Friends keep you honest, give your ego a healthy boost and make sure you keep some balance. But adding to your professional Rolodex doesn’t hurt either.
Bigger Heart. Be generous with your information. Offer freebies. Donate profits or do work to sell for charity. People love people who aren’t afraid to share their knowledge with them.

These things, added up, will add up to a fulfilling artistic career. And all that will translate into bigger dollars, but all the other “biggers” will ensure that your increasing profits are not temporary, but a natural, permanent growth. And that bigger is definitely better.

Art preservation made easy–and fun

As parents, as I think even more as homeschooling families, we accumulate a plethora of art projects. And after a while you start to wonder what to do with it all. You don’t feel right tossing it but you certainly don’t want piles of artsy goodness all over the house.

photo courtesy the_toe_stubber

photo courtesy the_toe_stubber

My friend Renae had a post the other day about saving art work and of course a quandary like that just gets my mind going. I have to write a post when I started a mental list of some potential ideas for you to consider. Keep in mind these are the keepers, the best stuff. You don’t have to keep it all, just keep the stuff worth saving and happily toss the rest when the kids aren’t looking.

  • Laminate them. Punch holes in the corners and connect them with jump rings to make a curtain of art for a wall or a room divider or to cover a window.
  • Laminate them to use as placemats.
  • scan for use as a screensaver.
  • Use them as wallpaper. Arrange them corner to corner like bricks and attach to the wall with sticky tack. When you want to change it up, just pull them down.
  • Mount a piece on heavy cardboard with glue and cut into puzzle pieces. before you cut, make sure to scan it to make putting the puzzle back together a lot easier. Mail it to a relative or friend.
  • Make a scrapbook. Google that if you need to know.
  • Affix a weighted string to the ceiling and hang art on the string with clips or two magnets stuck together.
  • Mail them to your relatives.
  • Cut them up for collage or other projects.
  • Recycle them. Use a different medium to add to it, trade pictures with siblings and add to the picture.
  • Enter them in a contest.
  • Use them as story book illustrations.
  • Scan them and make T-shirts.
  • Use them as story prompts.
  • Trade art with another family. Take turns guessing the subject of the piece.
  • Hold an art show. Display your art all over the house and invite friends and family. Serve simple snacks and have a short discussion on art appreciation or how to study a painting.
  • Scan and print on fabric for use as pillows, quilt squares, tote bags or clothing.
  • For 3-D things, take pictures of them. And for smaller things a high shelf or curio cabinet can be a nice place to showcase the best of the best.

My Etsy favorites

Thought I’d share some things I love from other artisans at Etsy. It’s hard not to buy everything I love at Etsy–even things that have nothing to do with books!

5 uses for school glue

I don’t know about you, but when it’s back to school time I can’t resist stocking up on white glue. It was only 5 cents a bottle, after all. But now I have about 20 bottles of it. So what do I do with all this white gluey goodness? (I mean besides letting the kiddos rub it on their skin and peel it off?) [Read more...]

Getting the most out of your art museum trip

Yea it’s museum day! Your family is excited as you all pile in the car. How can you get the most out of your precious time together? Here are some tips to help you enjoy your local art museum to the fullest.

Using your artistic voice

I was reading this post on Sarah Hodson’s blog. There is a new machine out there that I am crazy about. It’s a screen printing machine that Provo has come out with that, like the Cricut, is going to revolutionize the craft world. See a video demo of Yudu here.

What I appreciated about Sara’s post was the video from Provo featuring a man giving the homeless a voice using the machine. Please view the video.

It really got me thinking about communicating faith in art. There is reason for us to create beauty, to communicate the Gospel, to offer hope and help. We as Christians have a unique voice. We bring the hope of Christ to what we do. It is Christ in us, the hope of glory.

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27

When we allow Christ to shine in our art we have something unique to offer, not just any hope, but the hope of glory.

Christ is come to save, to heal and to deliver. When we can get that across, not just in a literal way, but in the subtle artistic communication–that is one to one, artist to patron—you are able to reach the very soul of another person. Art disarms, connects and elevates. For a moment in time you are able to communicate soul to soul with a person you may never actually meet this side of heaven. you are truly, as Ron DiCianni puts it, “Going into all the world…one painting at a time.” Or one book. Or collage. Pick your medium, the principle is the same.

What an exciting time to be an artist. Modern technology has brought the ability to get your art into people’s hands to the next level. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to communicate the Good News to everyone you can. Be bold, be subtle, be brave.

In my next post I will share my personal art scriptures and how they fit into my artist statement.

Maundy Monday Nov 3

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.

– Marc Chagall

Gotta love the simplicity of that statement. Nothing more I can add to that but a hearty “Amen.” I think many artists (and patrons) today should refer to this quote—often. And for the art enthusiast and art novie–this quote can take the guesswork out of what qualifies as art. Love it.

Maundy Monday Oct 27

I know, it’s up a little late. My hubbie is out of town on business and I’m surprised how much his absence throws us off. We are really a team and I miss him when he’s not here. :( That said, let’s dive into our quote this week (emphasis hers):
It seems to me that the marks of personality–love, communication, and moral sensitivity–which are meant to sharpen as we are returning to communication with God, should lead to an increased rather than decreased creativity. The Christian should have more vividly expressed creativity in his daily life, and have more creative freedom, as well as the possibility of a continuing development in creative activities.
–Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

art by Wendy Allison

I must say that I love that book, but that is another discussion. :) I totally agree that as Christians, looking more like Christ includes increased creativity. It can’t be helped. It always makes me sad to hear Christians downplay their talents and dismiss the idea that they possess any creativity. It’s dismissing a part of you when you deny your creative self. Enjoy exploring your creative side. Take some risks. Ask the Holy Spirit for some inspiration and get out there and create something!

Maundy Monday Oct 20

A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.

I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Dobell. Even though we use different media, the principle is the same. As a Christian I strive for life in all my work because God is alive and I want Him to be in all of it. He created life, all living things. I strive, as I become more like Him, to also create things with His life. A book, a collage canvas, a clay pot are inanimate objects but when we allow God to participate in our work then it takes on a whole new dimension of life that other artists could not duplicate, not because we are great artists but because we collaborate with the Greatest Artist.

And He is not necessarily looking for me to recreate His creation, but for me to find my own interpretation of His handiwork. I love the impressionist masters’ abilities to look out on a landscape and see a whole other world of color, texture and design. I think that sort of individual voice makes God very happy.

For me this takes the pressure off. I am free to be me, using the perspective that God gave me. Together we can create living works that glorify Him on many levels.